Commercialism Ruins the Christmas Spirit
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is the day we celebrate the gift of love with our friends and family. Some of our fondest memories as a child are of Christmas Day. As an adult, the day can start to bring more dread than happiness. It seems retailers start earlier and earlier every year, encouraging us to shop, shop, shop! They should really be saying, "Buy more stuff we know you don't need and can't really afford because it's half off! Today only, so you better impulse buy!".
Retailers exploit what is meant to be our well-intentioned Christmas spirit of giving by taking every possible opportunity to advertise and outsell the competition. When we let it get the best of us by fighting and trampling on others just to get that great deal or last toy, they have succeeded. We only wound our own spirit and taint what should be happy memories for us, our friends and family and those around us. The stores don't suffer as a result of poor behavior. They only benefit. Are these really the memories we want in our Christmas past?
Every year we see all these sales flyers advertising televisions and other "hot buys", but at the bottom, the small print usually reads something like, "limit 2 per store". As a result, people camp out in the parking lot, giving up 8-10 hours of their life to save an extra $50. Sorry, but most people make more than $5 per hour, so is it really even worth the time? You can actually get a sale during the entire holiday season and just add a store coupon to it to make it about equivalent to a "Black Friday" sale. In addition, the television or other electronics items offered are typically not a newer model, so consumers are somewhat misled by much of the advertising out there. Another scheme is to list the retail price as the regular price, but show it "on sale" for a certain percent off. For example, it's $50, but 60% off "today only". They lead you to believe that you undoubtedly save a whopping 10% more by buying it on "Black Friday". The thing is that it's always on sale, maybe normally just 40-50% instead of 60%. Some people do not realize that many retailers don't allow extra coupons for "specially priced" items, however, when it is only 40-50% or the "regular sale" price, you can typically use a coupon. The bottom line is that you end up paying only slightly less on "Black Friday". It may actually be a little less. All you have to do is fight for a parking space, wait in lines twice as long and risk being trampled to death. People have actually been trampled to death! Much more common is just plain trampling where the result was non-fatal. Every year, people are injured. People throw punches, scream at each other, wrestle over the last "sale item", all in their supposed version of the spirit of giving and retailers encourage this behavior in effort to line their pockets! Commercialism brings out the worst in people and has created such hypocrisy in the entire Christmas season.
The problem does not lie with individual desire to give to family and friends. Giving actually fosters the spirit of Christmas. Giving is kindness, kindness is goodness and goodness is magic! Christmas can be magical when everyone remains untainted by the negative influences surrounding them. We all want to remember the magic because memories can last a lifetime. Negativity affects everyone: you, your friends and family and others around you. Everyone deserves to enjoy the season and have only wonderful memories of their Christmas past.